When I traveled to Israel last April, I experienced my own little food heaven, which included, amongst other tasty delights, a plethora of humus dishes, an introduction to Labneh and one of my favorite breakfasts, Shakshuka, or eggs baked with a tomato sauce. Upon my return to the states, I had long forgotten about this incredible breakfast dish, that is until some very special eggs were gifted to me. My friend and co-worker Corey just so happens to raise (along with bees) some beautiful chickens in his backyard in Brooklyn. I’ve been begging him for some fresh eggs for over a year now, and the other day, a beautiful little box of them arrived on my desk. Ecstatic, I knew I needed to do something special with these eggs – something that allowed them to shine in all of their unique flavor, and so my mind was brought back to Israel and the eggs baked with tomatoes. After browsing for a recipe, I came across another idea and decided to purchase a large tomato, cut the top off and crack the egg inside of it with some parmesan cheese and bake it. It’s true that fresh eggs have a much better taste. The difference is hard to explain but I will say that they do taste fresher with less of that “eggy flavor” and scent. These tasted like they were fed the healthy diet that they were. As for the dish- it was a bit lighter than the one I remember in Israel but a perfect refreshing and savory meal that’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Most importantly, it allowed me to experience the home-raised, fresh difference of these special eggs. Here’s how I made this…
1 large tomato
2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the top off of the tomato and remove any of the hard inside- leave some of the juices. Sprinkle the inside with a little bit of the parmesan, crack the egg into the tomato and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top of the egg, and bake for about another 5 minutes or until egg whites are cooked and yolk is still a bit runny.